Turmeric (Curcuma longa). It's a quintessential spice in curry, a relative of ginger and the healthiest way to add flavor — and color! — to a home-cooked meal. And evidence is accumulating that this brightly colored relative of ginger is a promising disease-preventive agent as well, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory action.
Turmeric has long been used to relieve everything from liver problems to depression to ringworm in ancient medicine, but, like many alternative therapies, there's not always much research to back up the ancient wisdom.
That doesn't mean turmeric's powers are to be discredited altogether. Here, a look at what we do know about this powerful seasoning...
Researched health benefits of turmeric:
- It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
- Is a natural liver detoxifier.
- It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
- Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
- Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
- Helps in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
So how do you use this miracle spice?
Four easy ways...
1. Spice up your food.
Add this spice to anything (besides sweets) for a new flavor and a ton of benefits! You can use turmeric to add some zest to cooked vegetables, eggs, and meat dishes. You can also add it to boiling water you're using to make pasta, rice, soups, and more.
2. Drink it as a tea.
Bring four cups of water to a boil. Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste.
3. Use a turmeric supplement.
I like to take a turmeric supplements a day in case I am on-the-go and am unable to cook with it. Look for supercritical extracts in dosages of 400 to 600 mg.
4. Mix it with castor oil for a skin detox.
Castor oil with turmeric powder is a powerful toxin releaser for your skin. Mix, gently heat, and then massage onto your skin before bathing. (*Turmeric may stain your clothes so be careful and rinse thoroughly).